Receiving a citation for driving under the influence (DUI) in Kansas is not something to be taken lightly. The strict laws in Kansas are designed to keep drivers safe, but they can significantly impact your life if you are convicted of multiple DUIs. If you are charged with driving under the influence in Olathe, KS you’ll want to contact a DUI Attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
No matter how hard lawmakers work to discourage DUIs, they still occur. Since DUIs are considered a severe infraction, many drivers assume they have no chance of fighting back against a charge because they will automatically be declared guilty. This belief is false, and regardless of the circumstances around your DUI, you should seek legal representation to challenge the charge.
What Are the Consequences of Multiple DUI Convictions in KS?
There’s no such thing as getting away with just a slap on the wrist when it comes to DUI charges in Kansas. Unsurprisingly, the more DUI convictions you have, the more severe the repercussions become. Unless drivers fight back against their charges with the aid of a skilled DUI attorney, they could end up imprisoned or facing felony charges.
The first time you are convicted of a DUI, it is considered a class B misdemeanor. You could be imprisoned anywhere from two days to six months or be assigned 100 hours of court-approved community service. Whether you are incarcerated or allowed to complete community service will be at the court’s discretion. Your car will be impounded, and you will be fined anywhere between $750-$1,250.
If your breathalyzer test is under .150, you will receive a 30-day suspension of driving privileges and be confined to driving a car with an ignition interlock device for six months. Should your test show higher than .150, you will not be allowed to drive for a year. After your suspension has lifted, you will be required to drive a vehicle outfitted with an ignition interlock device.
Breathalyzer Test Refusal
Some drivers choose to exercise their right not to submit to a breathalyzer test. If you decide to forgo that test, you will automatically be suspended from driving for a year, after which you will have to begin two years of driving with an ignition interlock device.
The consequences of being convicted of a second DUI are severe, as it is considered a class A misdemeanor. They include imprisonment for a minimum of 90 days with a one-year maximum. Fines begin at $1,250 and cap at $1,750, and you will be expected to pay any additional fees and court expenses.
After a second conviction, there is a minimum license suspension of one year and one year of driving with an ignition interlock device. Keep in mind that these are the minimum suspensions and restrictions. It isn’t unusual for your driving privileges to be suspended or restricted for two to three years.
You cannot request probation on your second DUI conviction until you have served a minimum of five days in jail. You may be allowed to complete the first two days in a community intervention program and the three remaining days under house arrest or as part of a work release program.
The court may decide that your car will be impounded during your imprisonment, requiring you to pay for its release when you complete your sentencing. Your vehicle can be withheld from you for a maximum of one year if you are convicted of a DUI for a second time.
Third and Fourth Offenses
Once you have reached your third DUI conviction, you will likely be charged with a felony DUI. While there is a minimal chance that you could plead your conviction down to a misdemeanor if it has been over ten years since your last DUI, it isn’t likely, and without a skilled DUI lawyer representing you, you will certainly be convicted of a felony. Felony DUIs require you to serve a prison sentence of at least 90 days but no longer than one year.
You will be responsible for a fine between $1,750 and $2,500 and be required to attend a mandatory alcohol and drug education program. In addition, your license will be suspended for a minimum of a year, and your car will be outfitted with an ignition interlock system for a minimum of two years. Depending on the severity of your violation, you may have to use the interlock system for up to ten years.
You may be able to receive a one to two-year probation period that includes a rehabilitation program. The sentencing judge may also allow you to serve your imprisonment time as a combination of jail time, house arrest, and work release.
Hire Your Own DUI Attorney in Olathe, KS
When you are charged with a DUI, you will be given a court-appointed lawyer if you do not have one. While many public defenders are solid lawyers who want to help the innocent, they may not be able to give your case the attention it deserves. Court-appointed attorneys are notoriously overbooked, so your DUI case may not receive adequate attention.
Since DUI charges are challenging to fight in Kansas, a court-appointed lawyer may count your case as a lost cause. Although they’ll still represent you, they won’t have the time or desire to break down every aspect of your case to look for ways to beat your charge.
Protect Your Rights
Working with a DUI lawyer in Olathe, KS offers you the best chance of having your charge dropped or your sentence lessened. Lawyers with experience handling DUI cases know how to paint you in a favorable light to the court. They are also familiar with how your rights can be violated during a DUI stop and charge. While experienced police officers will carefully follow the appropriate steps for investigation and arrest, inexperienced or unscrupulous officers may not.
If your rights were violated during your stop and arrest, you are in a solid position to push back against a DUI conviction. A lawyer who knows the intricacies of the DUI and traffic stop laws in Kansas will be able to help you defend yourself against a conviction. If any of the following mistakes occurred during your DUI stop, you might be able to use them in your favor.
Illegal Stop of a Vehicle
An officer must be able to state a reason for stopping you. Unless the officer has a good reason to believe that an offense has been committed or a law has been broken, they can’t stop your vehicle. An experienced DUI lawyer will be able to determine if you were stopped inappropriately and defend your rights in court.
Improper Field Sobriety Test Administration
If the officer giving you the field sobriety test doesn’t follow standard protocol, you may be able to use their mistake to defend yourself in court. Improperly performed tests are unreliable and a poor indicator of your sobriety level.
Being pulled over for a minor traffic violation does not give the officer the right to search your vehicle. Your rights were violated if an officer searched your car without your consent or probable cause. Such a search is illegal, and anything found during the investigation is inadmissible in court.
Fighting a DUI charge is challenging, especially if it isn’t your first. However, it isn’t impossible. At Billam and Henderson, LLC, we ensure our clients get a fair trial and push back against illegal and unjust convictions. So if you’ve been charged with a DUI, there’s no time to waste; contact Billam and Henderson, LLC, today.